Before I start let me just say that there are some good boutiques out there, In this post I wont be referring to them. If you feel salty after reading this post then you should go and rethink your business model.
In recent years boutiques have been popping up everywhere. With the growth of the internet we are now seeing more online boutiques as well. While I think it’s a good thing every time I see a new boutique open, I still have yet to find more than maybe 2 or 3 boutiques whose clothes are worth the money. Most of the boutiques in my area over priced. I implore anyone reading this to do your homework before going to any boutique. While I find it important to support small businesses, small business have to give me a reason to support them. One of the biggest mistakes I see is that many small business owners make is that they aren’t prepared to take a loss. Too many think that because they are selling something that they are going to be profitable. for most businesses it takes a few years to see a steady profit. Many of the small business owners I talked to said they were or were planning to charge higher prices so they can see an immediate profit. Most of these businesses are closed now for obvious reasons. Another thing I’ve noticed is that they all sell the same thing. I won’t shop at a boutique if I can walk in and point out exactly what suppliers you got your product from. It seems like everyone wants to sell that ugly side mesh dress that shows half your butt, that replica of the dress Kelley Rowland wore to the grammys, and that black pleather crop top (all of which I can get off eBay for a lot cheaper). I thought the point of a boutique was to carry specialty items that you can’t find anywhere else. For instance, Last year for my graduation I wore a green wrap dress with a bubble hem that I got from Ashley Stewart ($39.50). I later on walked in a boutique that had the same dress for $189.00. When I asked about the price I was told it was made especially for that boutique. Then after I told them I had the same dress from another store I was told that because they were an llc and not a corporation that they couldn’t get as low of a price for the dress as Ashley Stewart did. The truth is, this business was overpriced and eventually closed for numerous reasons.
Some advice I would give Boutique owners or someone who wants to open a boutique:
- Have 2 savings accounts. One for your business and one personal. As well as saving money to open your business, save some money to pay your bills (about 6moths to a years worth for all bills). Almost, if not all the money you make your first year should go back into your business so you may not have room to pay yourself just yet.
- Do your research. Know the trends and i’m not just talking about the product but also pricing trends. What items are more valuable now. what items have depreciated in value. Research what area would be best for what you want to sell. Look up the crime rate, traffic, what age group populates your target area. Know your target market.
- Create a Business Plan. Plan out 5 years of your business and be realistic. Update this business plan every year. Compare where you are to where you wanted to be. Did you overachieve, underachieve. This can help existing businesses see what need to change.
- Be honest with your customers. The worst thing you can have happen is to have a customer find out you lied to them about a product. Now not only have you lost their trust but their business as well.
I hopes this helped someone thinking about starting a business.
PEACE< LOVE< AND BLESSINGS